Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) strengthened its links with the surveying industry when it gave 50 students the opportunity to hear from sector experts at its Rural Business Management degree induction day.
The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is aimed at filling a gap in the market – currently serviced by English institutes – to provide specialist education in the rural estates management sector.
SRUC now offers the only RICS accredited degree programme of its kind in Scotland – with the course being taught at both Aberdeen and Edinburgh campuses.
The students, from the four degree years, who attended the learning and networking event at Kings Buildings in Edinburgh heard a series of speakers discus their work in the rural surveying industry.
One of the keynote speakers was Ian Austin, senior surveyor with Davidson & Robertson Rural in Edinburgh. “It was a great induction event with a much bigger turnout than expected. It was highly encouraging as we all want to see more Scottish RICS graduates coming through. There are great opportunities available and some great jobs available.”
A highlight for many students was the presentation on the use of drones for surveying by John Goodchild of Aberdeenshire UAV and Countryside Services - who gave a demonstration of surveying techniques using drone technology.
The open day also saw the presentation of the RICS Best Student Award – given to the highest performing student. This year’s recipient was Jennifer Jeffrey, who graduated this year with a 1st Class BA Rural business Management (RICS accredited) Hons.
Jennifer excelled in the final two years of her degree – consistently producing work of the highest quality. Tim Roads, senior rural surveyor at Bidwells in Perth presented Jennifer with a £50 gift voucher on behalf of the RICS.
A buffet lunch was part of the networking side of the induction day – allowing students the opportunity to talk one-to-one with the industry representatives and get answers to their specific questions on rural surveying as a career. Fourth year students were able to chat with the industry experts to develop ideas for their dissertation study.
The induction event was organised by Dr Nick Price from SRUC’s Aberdeen Campus, who leads the new Rural Surveying and Land Use stream of the RICS accredited degree. “The event will foster closer working relationships between SRUC and the surveying industry to the ultimate benefit of students and their careers.
“The course is becoming better known across the sector and external firms increasingly want to engage with SRUC and students - with a view to taking on students for work experience with the aim of filling graduate surveyors and estate manager roles.”